Moody’s report ‘uncovers PM’s deceitful claims’ on LNG - PN

Nationalist Party welcomes Malta’s positive rating by credit rating agency Moody’s but says concerns still remain

Former finance minister Tonio Fenech
Former finance minister Tonio Fenech

The Nationalist Party welcomed Malta’s A3 rating by credit rating agency Moody’s but warned that “concerns still remain”.

Moody’s reports confirms Malta’s stable rating with a robust growth outlook. In its analysis of Malta’s economy, Moody’s reiterated that, despite being small and open, the Maltese economy has weathered the global financial crisis well, in part thanks to the good performance of its growing services sector such as the tourism industry.

“But Moody’s report also uncover the Prime Minister’s deceitful statements on the delay of the power station. While [Muscat] says the delay will be of just a few months, Moody’s says the Electrogas project is still in its ‘initial phases’,” PN spokesman for finance Tonio Fenech said.

Fenech said Moody’s were “skeptical” on the government’s work in the energy sector, where Moody’s revealed its doubts on whether the planned reforms would translate in an Enemalta with a sound financial position, able to finance the tariff reductions.

Moody’s argued that, despite Enemalta’s ongoing restructuring and the progress achieved under the energy reform, “it is too early to assess whether the new framework will allow the company to become financially viable”.

Moody’s also noted that Enemalta, with its debts amounting to around 10% of GDP, was the most prominent source of contingent liability risk.

In his statement, Fenech added that it was worrying that Malta’s government debt is at 70% of GDP. He said, that debt has increased €3 million daily under the Labour government.

“Government cannot ignore the concerns raised by Moody’s, including the drastic fall in imports and exports and retail sales,” he said.

More in Budget 2015